Join Ryan Kittleson for an in-depth discussion in this video Preparing GoZ, part of Digital Creature Creation in ZBrush, Photoshop, and Maya.
GoZ is a feature in ZBrush that allows you to quickly send models to Maya and then back into ZBrush. In just one button click, it does the same thing as manually exporting from ZBrush and importing into Maya or exporting from Maya and importing back to ZBrush. GoZ is a fairly new feature that interfaces with other complex programs, as such, there are times when it doesn't work quite right. If that happens to you, just know that you can get the same results by manually exporting and importing OBJ files between programs. GoZ is a part of the standard ZBrush installation.
However, it is not automatically set up when ZBrush is installed. If you've never used it before, you'll have to set it up in order to use it. Let's go ahead and do that now. I am going to open up the dog model that comes with ZBrush. So double-click in DemoProjects and double-click the DemoDog. Now, over in the Tool Palette, let's click the GoZ button. So we get this little pop up that tells us some important things about GoZ. Basically, you want to make sure that all of your sub tools are named with unique names before you use GoZ.
So let's click Continue. It's going to search through my computer for any 3D applications that it knows how to interface with, like CINEMA 4D, like 3D Studio Max and Maya. So there is no CINEMA 4D, we'll click Not installed! And it found 3D Studio Max but we're not using that in this course. So well we'll go ahead and install it anyway, and go ahead and click Yes if it asks for permission to install anything on your computer. We'll go ahead and install with Maya as well, and click Yes, and we don't have Modo, so we'll click Not installed! And go ahead and pick your version of Photoshop, we'll go ahead and go with 64 Bit CS5.1 and click Install, and click Yes.
It found three different programs that GoZ knows how to interface with; 3D Studio Max, Maya, and Photoshop. We want to work between Maya and ZBrush, so we're going to click Maya here. So GoZ is preparing the file for transfer to Maya right now and it's loading Maya. Okay, so now that we're in Maya, it's telling us that at anytime we can send the mesh back to ZBrush by clicking the GoZ button on the GoZBrush shelf. So you get your standard shelf up here, Maya uses all these standard buttons.
At the very it created a tab called GoZBrush. Inside there is a single button called GoZ. So that's the button that we're going to click to send this back to GoZBrush. We get the standard Maya pop-up here that's asking us if we want to learn anything, I will just close that out. I am going to maximize Maya, and hit F to zoom in. So we've got the dog here, I am going to hit 5 on the keyboard to show us the Shaded Mode and it's the exact same thing that we had in ZBrush. You can make any modifications to the model here, for example I am going to just change the shape of it a little bit.
I am just going to create a soft selection and just make a drastic change to the overall shape just to demonstrate something. So you could pull it, let's pull it up like this, make it look like it's scared. You could insert edge loops, you could layout UVs, make any changes you want to the model. When you're done with it, you just click GoZ to go back, and you see the adjustment that we made in Maya is automatically applied in ZBrush. There's a few other buttons associated with GoZ.
You can send all sub tools at once by clicking the All button. So if you have multiple sub tools, just click All, and it will send all of them. If you just click GoZ, it's only going to send the active sub tool. If you want to use GoZ with different programs other than Maya, for example 3ds Max or Photoshop, click the R button. Then you can pick which button you want to be associated with GoZ. So if I change it to 3D Studio Max, and then I click GoZ, it's going to send the model to Max rather than Maya.
Let's go ahead and switch that back to Maya. This technology that bridges ZBrush with Maya can be buggy sometimes. If you make changes that are too drastic in Maya, it may cause the Z tool to be deformed when brought back to ZBrush. Also, GoZ doesn't like sub tools that have names that start with numbers. So I am going to go into the SubTool Palette here and just change the name of the sub-tool and I am going to click Rename here. I am going to change it to let's say 1dog.
It works fine here in ZBrush. However, any names that begin with numbers are going to have problems in Maya. Don't use any special character or punctuation, always start the name with a letter. Also, avoid changing the names of sub- tools or Maya objects while using GoZ, because that can also confuse the software. It could be said that GoZ is still kind of an experimental technology. So whenever I use it, I like to take it slow and try not to hit it with too much at once. Problems can arise from using it.
So I like to make sure that I did everything right before I save over anything. However, once you get a sense for what it can do reliably, it becomes a valuable tool for moving between ZBrush and other programs.
- Brainstorming and refining a character concept
- Installing custom brushes
- Optimizing tablet settings
- Posing the ZSpheres in ZBrush
- Sculpting muscles and midsize shapes
- Working with DynaMesh
- Using GoZ between ZBrush and Maya
- Creating topology for animation
- Sculpting fine detail
- Cleaning up a mesh in Maya
- Creating the UV layout
- Lighting and shading
- Painting texture maps
- Posing with Transpose tools in ZBrush
- Batch rendering a turntable animation